Nikon Photo Contest No Longer Accepts Photos Shot Using Film Cameras

Another sign of the times (and bad news for film-photography enthusiasts): one of the most prestigious photo competitions in the world no longer accepts film photographs. Earlier this week Nikon published a “call for entries” for its 34th Nikon Photo Contest. Here’s what the entry guidelines say about “Eligible Works”:

Image data files created with digital cameras (including medium- and large-format cameras). Images that have been retouched using software or by other means will be accepted. Both color and monochrome images will be accepted. (Scans of photographs taken with film cameras are not eligible.)

The contest has been held since 1969 to “provide an opportunity for photographers around the world to communicate and to enrich photographic culture for professionals and amateurs alike.”

The same photo contest two years ago did accept film photographs:

Image data captured with a digital still camera (excluding that captured by medium-format and larger digital cameras) and image data created by scanning an image captured with a film camera (35mm or APS) will be accepted. Images that have been digitally enhanced or edited with software will also be accepted.

On the contest’s official website, Nikon says that the change is in response to the changing landscape of photography:

In the last 10 years, with the wide penetration of digital cameras, the environment surrounding photography and cameras has dramatically changed. And so the contest is changing as well, both in name and in structure.

The new guidelines this year rule out photos shot using the Nikon F6, a $3,000 professional film SLR that’s still in production. They’re also major obstacle to photographers who shoot medium or large format, since it can cost quite a pretty penny to go digital in those formats.

Thanks for sending in the tip, Kav!

Image credits: oldnew camera selfportrait by salguodbocaj, Nikon FM by Khánh Hmoong, Nikon Camera Strap by Jorge Quinteros

  • bob

    How would they know if EXIF was stripped? I always do that when submitting work and most die hards are pressed to figured out which format I used. This is a stupid rule.

  • Brad Reiss


  • J

    Photography is photography either shot on film or digital.

  • Guest

    So does that mean that Nikon are going to stop selling their F6 35mm SLR ? at £1,500 for the body – probably not.

  • K G

    This make my blood boil. Market forces at work.

  • Edward

    BOGUS! Nikon, c’mon, fix this!

  • Christopher 

    That is so stupid… >=@

  • dikaiosune01

    This is really messed up. I still use a few nikkor lenses that are a part of my arsenal of 4×5 lenses. To the best of my recollection, they are still being produced in japan only.

  • Young Lee

    they’re just trying to sell more digital cameras to consumers.. damn

  • Dave

    I agree it is a stupid rule, but scanned film is pretty easy to identify over a native digital file. For one, grain, which is quite different from noise, would be readily noticeable.

  • Vlad Dusil

    So they don’t accept film scans? Fine, where do I submit my print?

  • Sam Agnew

    So, apart from pissing people off, what is this supposed to achieve artistically? I mean, it is a photography contest, right? Will they rule out my D80 soon because it is too old? Nikon, this is straight up stupid!

  • delayedflight

    Take a picture of a film photo with a digital camera and submit that? So ‘technically’ it would be a photo from a digital camera.

  • what the

    so all you people bitching about Nikon, film, digital,what ever, do you plan to enter a photo? no? then shut the f#$k up. P.S. Nikon is a business like any other camera maker, not a religion on charity.

  • Timothy

    I say we all submit ONLY film shots in protest of this ridiculous rule. I don’t even shoot film, but this is complete stupidity.

  • Vlad Dusil

    trollolol fail?

  • guest

    They allow digital post-processing, but no scans?

    Is there a high resolution requirement? Because otherwise, I can’t quite grasp why they’d do this. Are they banning images without EXIF data? All deceased pre-1995 photographers are turning in their graves.

  • Gunther Deichmann

    The irony is they are still selling Film Cameras… I am not against Digital I am using it too, but to exclude great images shot on film B&W or color is downright stupid and does not do much for the education in Photography. Shame on Nikon!

  • amateur

    why? do they win too many prizes as opposed to their digital counterparts? :)

  • John Berner

    “Due to the change in the landscape of photography, we will only be accepting photos shot in full auto mode, in either HDR or selective color formats.” Progress.

  • ceebee

    Actually, that was my first thought too!

  • miki

    it shows that the nikon contest was never serious….

  • sierrarobba

    BUY CANON! Problem solved!

  • fahrertuer

    They’re not gonna rule out you D80 itself next year. But I bet they’ll start asking that your images are at least x Megapixel in resolution or something like that

  • Sabotdite

    They won’t accept daguerreotype plates either, where will this all end!

  • Chris

    ISO 50 “grain” from, say, Velvia from a 120 shot is a lot more pleasant to look at than any digital noise, and I doubt that, when properly scanned and resized to whatever size they require for submitting digital files, you could tell the difference. Perhaps the cleaned up 120 file would be, well, cleaner, and have more saturated colors. Frankly, I have yet to see a file from a digital camera that didn’t require massive processing to approach the color gamut of a Velvia slide (Note how I didn’t say more accurate, but then, very few landscape photos are an accurate representation of the real thing anyway).

  • Carlos David

    They don’t really mention images scanned from a negative, just scans from photographs of film cameras. Possible loophole for film shooters?

  • Matthew Wagg

    Stupid Nikon. Does anyone still post images to this competition anymore?
    Also what’s to stop me taking a photo, taking another photo and using my skills in photoshop to make a montage and enter that? Technically that’s not a photo either but by their rules I could enter it.

  • B

    Would you like a little cheese with your whine? Don’t like the rules? Don’t participate in the contest.

  • K G

    I think I’ll submit a digital picture of my F5 gathering dust.

  • Spydrxx

    Absolute stupidity

  • LikeAPolaroid

    Nikon is no longer the Nikon it used to be. They are pushing the Nikon 1 fiasco dedicating one entire category of this “photo” contest to stuff that can only be produced with that camera.

    I understand they need to gain market quota and try to sort out their mistakes but what the hell – make a “digital art” contest, and leave the photo contest alone. Photo is anything produced with a film or a sensor. Excluding film means excluding MF and LF, which is how photography was born. How stupid is this?

    Nikon, you have really, totally disappointed me.

  • sierrarobba

    LOL! What about those early but still god digital nikons with 6megapizels.Based on nikon f90x and nikon f5?

  • Auckland Event Photographer

    It is a sad day for all photographers.

  • Robert in Redlands

    I’m still petitioning them to let me use glass plates again. Grrrr.

  • Ryan J.

    A photograph is a photograph, it shouldn’t matter what medium it was shot on!

  • Daniel Norman

    I love both film and digital photography, but It seems like film is being killed out because it is not as profitable for camera makers as digital.

  • herzco

    Yet another reason to hate Nikon. As if their strong arming users into getting repairs only at their own facilities was not enough – A total power grab. And now this. Painting is also a very old art – Let’s stop showing those as art too….

  • herzco

    I have seen exactly this – Minimum pixel dimension requirements.

  • herzco

    Or have a separate category for film images.

  • minolta man

    this is horrible

  • Tadeo Velazquez

    next step: disqualify images without lens exif data so everybody buy new ones for their recently purchased DSLR

  • Kaushal

    Bloody moronic. They want to promote digital to sell more digital cameras. They are promoting the sale of digital cameras not the creation art.

  • Tony

    We should all send an email of protest to Nikon!!

  • alex

    go Canon !

  • Tamara

    Seriously? No words for how dumb this change is.

  • Ralph Hightower

    I think I’ll scan one of my negatives, add EXIF info to it with “Canon A-1″ as the camera model and submit that.

  • PeteB

    1: Shoot image on film
    2: Scan negative or print
    3: Use EXIF editor to input phony data into EXIF table.
    4: Win
    5: Profit $$$

  • Michael Erb

    If you look further down the contest page that isn’t allowed either.

  • JOHN

    Then can I submit digital images of my films or prints taken with my digital p&s camera? To adapt myself to the changing environment surrounding photography? Ludicrous!